How to make box brownies better

This is our family’s favorite easy brownie recipe! Learn how to make box brownies better with these brownie mix hacks. A few ingredients creates an amazing doctored up brownie recipe from a box.

Box mixes are so convenient. Bless the person who developed that amazing idea.

There should be no shame in using a brownie box mix.. but sometimes you want the box of brownie mix to taste more homemade. That’s where box brownie mix hacks come into play!

We tested a lot of brownie mix hacks so we could come up with our best easy brownie mix box recipe.

How to make brownie mix taste homemade

It’s all about adding ingredients to the brownie mix to give the brownies better texture & taste.

Doctored up brownie ingredients

A traditional brownie box mix calls for water, eggs and vegetable oil.

But we have a few ingredient swaps that will make box brownies taste like bakery brownies!

  • eggs – necessary for moisture and act as a leavening agent
  • melted butter – makes the chocolate flavor richer compared to vegetable oil
  • buttermilk or milk – makes the brownie richer and taste more homemade
  • cocoa powder – adding additional cocoa powder makes the brownies more chocolate-y
  • espresso powder – makes the chocolate flavor richer, and the brownies will NOT taste like coffee

We actually tried this recipe with and without espresso powder and in a blind taste test, everyone preferred the brownie recipe with espresso powder because it tasted more chocolate-y.

You can purchase espresso powder in the baking aisle of your grocery store or on amazon. 

Lazy girl boxed brownies

Here’s the BEST part – you combine all of those ingredients and the brownie mix in a bowl, and beat it together with an electric mixer.

No adding each ingredient one at a time – add them all at ONCE! Let’s rejoice, these are the ultimate easy brownies for a crowd.

How many eggs should I put in box mix brownies?

Generally the more eggs you add to a brownie recipe, the cakier the brownie will be. That’s why it’s a good idea to stick with 2 eggs, which is typically the amount that the back of the box calls for. However, you can add an additional egg yolk. The additional egg yolk adds more fat, creating a fudgier brownie.

Should I use a glass or metal pan to bake brownies?

I used a glass 8×8 inch baking pan because that’s what I have in my kitchen! You can use a metal pan and I would recommend decreasing the baking time by 5 minutes. Metal pans heat up faster and can produce chewier brownies.

Can I add nuts or other add-ins to these easy brownies from a box mix?

Definitely! Add 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of add-ins. You could add any variety of chopped nuts, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, mint pieces, caramel bits, reese’s pieces, etc.

How to cut brownies cleanly

To get really nice clean brownie squares, I like to refrigerate my brownies for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Then I use a long 8 inch chef’s knife to cut them. But here’s the MOST IMPORTANT TIP —> wipe the knife CLEAN between each cut. Yes, it’s annoying, but it works!

How to freeze brownies

Make the brownies and allow them to cool completely. Cut them into squares, wrap 4 at a time in aluminum foil (wrap well), then cover them in plastic wrap and store in a freeze ziplock bag for up to 3 months. To thaw, place in the fridge over night.


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For a step-by-step of how to make this easy brownie from box recipe, watch this short video:

How to make box brownies better

How to make box brownies better

Yield: 8x8 inch pan

This is our family’s favorite easy brownie recipe! Learn how to make box brownies better with these brownie mix hacks. A few ingredients creates an amazing doctored up brownie recipe from a box.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter melted
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk or milk
  • 18.3 oz brownie mix (18.4 oz is fine too!)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp espresso powder (optional, but makes chocolate flavor richer, the brownies will NOT taste like coffee)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. 
  2. Line a 8x8 inch square pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, melted butter, buttermilk, brownie mix, cocoa powder and espresso powder and beat with an electric mixer on low until combined, about 1 minute. 
  4. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Spread evenly with a spatula.
  5. Bake for 37-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow the brownies to cool. Remove the brownies from the pan using the parchment paper. Slice and serve. 

*Note: bake in a 9x13 inch pan for 25-32 minutes. The brownies will not be as thick. 

Notes

Should I use a glass or metal pan to bake brownies?

I used a glass 8×8 inch baking pan because that’s what I have in my kitchen! You can use a metal pan and I would recommend decreasing the baking time by 5 minutes. Metal pans heat up faster and can produce chewier brownies.

Can I add nuts or other add-ins to these easy brownies from a box mix?

Definitely! Add 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of add-ins. You could add any variety of chopped nuts, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, mint pieces, caramel bits, reese’s pieces, etc.

5 comments

  1. The easiest way to cut brownies is with a plastic knife. Brownie will not stick to knife, no need to wipe it off. It’s amazing how easy it is.

  2. I need a bigger batch can I use two mixes or a family sized box and double your I ingredients?

    • Hi Carol! I would double the recipe – so use two 18.3 oz boxes of brownie mix and double all other ingredients!

  3. Delicious.  I didn’t have the espresso powder and they were awesome.  I’ll get some for next time.

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